Monday, 9 January 2017


Band: URUK HAI [amidst various other artistes]
Title: The Tourette Tapes
Format: A cassette compilation released in 2016 on The Tourette Tapes label (Germany), cat ref TT#53.  A compilation of largely industrial, electronica, experimental and noise projects, this comes with a red coloured bag, 3 inlay cards, a digital download code and a C70 tape with printed side panels.
Edition: 66 hand-numbered copies
Track Listing:
Side A
01.  Kurbelkraut  *  Hits From The Nuts  4:38 
02.  Contagious Orgasm  *  The Following Day Signal   5:14 
03.  Tlic  *  Morbid Nine (Cyperkid Resurrection) 8:27 
04.  Fensch Industrial Orkestra  *  La Grande Cisaille  5:01 
05.  Skullwall  *  Untitled  2:46 
06.  Moral Fraktal  *  Scar  4:00 
07.  Colonel Smasher  *  Tale From A Drunken Abyss  4:24 
Side B
01.  Uruk Hai  *  Schlacht Des Jehen Feuers  14:52 
02.  Vincenzo Bossi  *  Nova 80  10:39 
03.  Xtematic  *  Dead Zone  5:00 
04.  Bride Wore Black  *  Sparkle  4:27 
05.  Vincenzo Bossi  *  Archivmaterial (Bonus)  5:48 
06.  Kurbelkraut  *  Hits From The Nuts (Version)  6:49
In the relatively enclosed musical world that Nazgul inhabits, few things strike more fear into his heart than the prospect of a compilation album from some of the smaller underground labels like Smell The Stench, SkullLine, or - in this case - German label The Tourette Tapes.  Partly this stems from such compilations cramming a millions songs into one tiny space (something that a mere C70 tape mercifully can't be party to); partly because a lot of the bands are likely to be (a) crap, (b) unlistenable, and (c) crap (again).  Reviewing such a thing can be a pretty fraught experience let me tell you: I still haven't quite recovered from listening to the "A Tribute To Burzum" compilation, and that was over two and a half years ago....
Consequently handling such items now carries all the precautions that you'd associate with the disposal of toxic waste: the immediate area within the Castle is cleared of all superfluous personnel before the offending item is even removed from the shelf, and thick rubber gloves are worn to extract disc/tape/media from its protective wrappings to place into the death-deck.  Warning signs are erected, ear-protectors put on stand-by, emergency sick bucket positioned within reach just in case.

That DEFCON 1 image in a recent Honour and Darkness post could be a very apt precursor to unveiling this particular release...
So what are we to make of today's curious offering from an equally curious label?  After all, The Tourette Tapes label is not unfamiliar to us (primarily for split releases between Bonemachine and bands such as Flutwacht, for instance) but information about the label itself is pretty sketchy. It is a sub-label of the equally as enigmatic Apocalyptic Radio label, which has been scaring people with its releases since 2004, and their Bandcamp page simply describes their mission statement as 'Record label for industrial music', which is fairly terse if accurate. 
All the signs point towards another volatile listening experience, therefore, so Nazgul has invoked the emergency protocols just to bring you this post in the never ending quest to relay all Hugin-related material to you.
Looking over the track listing, the first thing that strikes you is that it's none of Hugin's industrial or experimental projects that appears here, such as the aforementioned Bonemachine or WACH for example.  Oh no, instead it's Uruk Hai - not normally known for rubbing shoulders with the likes of Contagious Orgasm or Colonel Smasher.  So far, so very peculiar.  Also peculiar is that there looks to be a typo in the spelling of Uruk Hai's song too, as I presume the translation should be 'The Battle of Sudden Flame', based on a corrected title of 'Schlacht des J√§hen Feuers'?  This battle was, of course, Dagor Bragollach, being the fourth battle of the Wars of Beleriand and the great turning point in the War of the Jewels.  But then again, with my terrible German, anything is possible.
And for today's trivia interlude, can you name at least two other well known metal bands who have immortalised this same battle in songs on their albums?  Answer at the foot of this post *
Rather a different vibe, though, having a track about a legendary battle from the works of Tolkien shoehorned into a compilation with songs including 'Hits From The Nuts', 'Tales From a Drunken Abyss' or 'La Grande Cisaille' (literally - 'Great Shears')?!  One wonders if it will jar aurally as well or whether Hugin has been overdosing on the coffee and Mescaline again, and has ramped up this Uruk Hai song to an in-your-face industrial strength mix.  Oh well, only one way to find out... 

...And what we find isn't an attempt by Uruk Hai to go all weird and messy on us, but more of what Nazgul would term a portmanteau track - an amalgamation of past bits and bobs of other songs to form a rather sweeping and epic piece.  I'm pretty sure there's a healthy dab of 'Gil-galad' in here somewhere, not to mention some other familiar pieces, but stitched together in a manner to create a new tapestry of sonic wonder.
It remains incongruous given some of the rest of the content of this tape, mind you, but as an introduction to a new audience it comes across as a faithful representation of the 'real' Uruk Hai.  And that's a pretty sound marketing strategy when you boil it down. 

* Congratulations on your perspicacity if you correctly read Nazgul's mind and named Summoning ('Dagor Bragollach' on their "Minas Morgul" album) and Blind Guardian (who gave us 'Battle of Sudden Flame' on their "Nightfall in Middle-Earth album").  There may be others who have referenced it, but don't write in to tell me about them....!

To conclude today's entry, in the same general tidying up and sorting out that led to Nazgul's discovery of the Hrossharsgrani "The Long Grey Road" artwork featured in the last post, another long-forgotten item also emerged: the Tourette Tapes badge, pictured below.  It doesn't come with this tape set, but as it's pretty hard to shoehorn the badge into any other post here it is for posterity!

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